Confronting the new reality of developing business in the federal government arena?

Confronting the new reality of developing business in the federal government arena?

In the current business climate in federal government contracting, many companies are evaluating their strategic marketing efforts. Firms are taking a hard look at their results and making the decision to adjust the marketing mix.

Whether or not a change is made is not the issue. The point is that many firms are taking this climate change in the industry as an opportunity to address the situation and make the decision one way or another to continue with tried-and-true marketing techniques or to drop some tactics and attempt something new.

After marketing, the next major area for consideration to address is Business Development. However, with Business Development and revenue generation, the scenario is far more complex and does not offer the either/or option. Confronting the new reality in winning government business requires making significant adjustments in order to survive the storm.

If you are struggling with revenue growth in this recession, you are not alone. But in federal government contracting, the economic downturn is coupled with major procurement changes initiated with the new administration, and this shift is far from complete. Insourcing, the move from sole source to IDIQ contracts, Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates’ reduction in major program funding: all these changes result in a high degree of tension.

This unique combination of the current recession and government procurement transition equals an exponential change in the government contracting industry and the procurement process.

Obsessing about this reality isn’t going to change the situation. To quote the legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, “The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control.”

First, let’s look at some misguided reactions to the current situation that you want to avoid doing at all costs.

  • Attempting to move forward with an obsolete BD operation;
  • Adjusting to fewer opportunities and shifting budgets by shedding BD personnel;
  • Sticking with an outdated BD process (that everyone in the industry uses); and,
  • Doing nothing, waiting on the sidelines for conditions to change to the way they used to be, or thinking that the situation will fix itself (it’s not going to happen!).

Since business as usual is not an option and we don’t have control over the current economic situation or the changes flowing from the government sphere, what do we have control over?

You do have power and control over your Business Development operation as a whole and all of its components. From our more than 30 years of experience working with clients, we know that Business Development is an integrated process. More than ever during these demanding times the following steps are crucial to address in order to achieve your revenue growth objectives despite the current conditions.

  • Invest your resources in conducting a comprehensive assessment of your entire Business Development operation including your plans, personnel and processes.
  • Identify the revenue growth impediments revealed by the assessment and realign your BD plans, processes and team into a cohesive Business Development organization. This step is particularly critical for BD post any M&A activity, otherwise the synergies and efficiencies promised from the merger will evaporate.
  • Design, build and implement an up-to-date, customized BD methodology configured to fit your organization’s mission, culture and offerings. Make sure it incorporates a pre-capture Opportunity Identification & Qualification process based upon Intel gathering (OI&Q)i.
  • This updated BD methodology along with the (OI&Q)i process will provide the structure, discipline and thinking critically needed to ensure your revenue growth.

We all are confronting a grueling scenario dealing with these changes in the industry. Riding out the storm, all the while obsessing about the weather, is not a reasonable approach under these conditions. What you are hearing is not just the wind blowing from a new direction; it’s a tornado about to swallow you up along with your organization.

Make no mistake: this is an unavoidable situation that requires immediate attention. We have been thrust into an age of adjustment, demanding realignment to the new conditions for doing business in the federal government contracting arena.